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CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media: Online Screenwriting

A NYFA AU student with a goatee concentrates as his instructor explains a technique for the Canon camera.

Diploma of Screen and Media - Online Screenwriting


New York Film Academy Australia delivers an online, nationally recognised program CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media with selected subjects focusing on Screenwriting.

New York Film Academy Australia recognises the critical role writers play in the creation of every film and television show. Yet, writing talent alone is not enough to create successful work in these mediums. Screenwriting is a learned craft, and a writer must write every day to train for the demands of this field, and to truly understand the elements that make a screenplay or teleplay functional, as well as engaging.

In addition to learning the conventions of the writing craft, students are given the support and structure to write and meet deadlines. Students write intensively throughout the course and complete several projects with the assistance of constructive critique from instructors, as well as peers.


From the comfort of your own home, students get the opportunity to work with industry professionals as they develop and nurture their screenwriting talents. The course schedule has been carefully crafted to ensure that students benefit from favourable work-life-study balance.

Over the course of the program, each student will develop and write a feature-length screenplay, plus one television "spec" script, along with the opportunity to workshop an additional treatment. As part of a fully integrated program, students explore related areas of screen production which enable them to apply their scripts to a professional context. In addition to writing classes, students study aspects of film craft, acting, pitching, and cinema studies, as they apply to screenwriting.

Upon completion of their studies, students will understand story structure, character, conflict and dialogue, and graduate the program with finished products that they can pitch and produce.

  1. In depth study of classic screenplay structure, character arcs, theme, conflict, flashbacks, voiceover, subtext, style, tone, visualization, discipline, and genre.
  2. Story generation and professional screenwriting practice.
  3. Development of treatments, pitch materials, and scripts across various mediums.
  4. Fundamentals of screen production

  1. Logline, synopsis, and beat sheet for a:
    • feature film
    • TV sitcom pilot
    • TV drama pilot
  2. Treatment for a:
    • feature-length film
    • TV sitcom
    • TV drama
  3. Full draft screenplay for a feature length film.
  4. Full draft TV sitcom pilot.
  5. Revised draft of TV sitcom pilot OR the first draft of a one-hour drama pilot.
  6. A short written scene to be produced by NYFA Australia.

Program Requirements:
  1. Personal computer or laptop
  2. Cell phone with video camera
  3. Zoom software (free)
  4. Screenwriting software (free or professional - Final Draft highly recommended for screenwriters).
  5. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint)
  6. Da Vinci Resolve (Free Version)
  7. Access to stable, high-speed internet connection.

Minimum specifications for computers:
  1. Processor - Intel Core i7 or newer CPU
  2. Operating system - macOS v10.14.6 or later / Windows 10
  3. RAM - 16 GB of RAM
  4. GPU - 4 GB of GPU VRAM
  5. Hard disk space - 50GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (will not install on a volume that uses a case sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices).
  6. Additional external high-speed drive for media (min. 500 GB)
  7. Monitor resolution - 1920 X 1080 HD preferred
  8. Network Storage Connection - 1 Gigabit Ethernet (HD only)


Interested students are invited to complete the application form, with a personal statement, and attend a virtual interview to determine entrance to the program.

This program is delivered online. Click here to learn more about our on-campus Screenwriting program available at our Gold Coast campus.

Course Descriptions

Term 1
Elements of Screenwriting
Writing for Television I
Cinema Studies

Term 3
Writing for Television II
The Freelancer
Term 2
Story Generation
Writing the Feature I
Safety on Set
Term 4
Writing the Feature II
Script to Screen

Elements of Screenwriting

  CUAWRT401 - Edit texts, CUAPPR415 Develop and discuss ideas for own creative work
In Elements of Screenwriting the student will learn the fundamentals of scriptwriting. They will also gain insight into the creative collaborative process of filmmaking as they write, edit, and reflect on their own writing exercises and projects with fellow students and their lecturer.

In order to become competent screenwriters, students must have a full understanding of the fundamentals of storytelling narration and editing text. This subject introduces students to the craft of screenwriting, editing, and the collaborative creative process of filmmaking. Correct formatting will be focused on, and students will learn how to write scene descriptions, describe characters and locations, and develop action sequences appropriate to the genre and style of the project they are writing. They will also learn to appraise their own work, and others’, engaging constructively in the creative process.
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Writing for Television I

  CUAPPR411 Realise a creative project, CUAWRT512 - Develop storylines and treatments
Writing for Television I introduces the student to the fundamentals of screenwriting in the world of television drama. It is a fast-paced, intensive workshop program that allows the student to develop the knowledge and skills required to originate and develop a concept for television programs, and to develop these concepts into story outlines and treatments.
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Cinema Studies

  BSBCMM411 - Make presentations
This seminar teaches students to identify the techniques used by cinematic innovators throughout the history of filmmaking. Through screenings and discussions, students will grow to understand how filmmakers have approached the great challenge of telling stories with moving images from silent films to the digital age. The course explores ways that the crafts of directing, screenwriting, cinematography, acting, and editing have developed. Students are then challenged to place themselves within that development with regard to their on-going film projects.
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Story Generation

  CUARES412 - Conduct Research
This subject focuses on fostering the development of creative ideas through research, discussion, and developing story concepts. Students will gain the knowledge of genres and mediums within film, television, and emerging media to allow for the base understanding within the creative industry. They will learn to use research to generate ideas to develop stories.
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Writing Feature I

  CUAWRT602 - Edit scripts
Writing the Feature I introduces the student to the fundamentals of screenwriting for film. It is a fast-paced, intensive workshop that explores the fundamentals of screenwriting, in which students will be asked to develop, edit and present their film concepts.
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Safety on Set

  CUAPPR515 - Establish and maintain safe creative practice
The purpose of this subject is to teach the film and performance practitioner to determine work health and safety requirements in a given environment and occupation, identify hazards and assess and manage risks, and to monitor and enhance safety of their practice. Having sound practical knowledge of safety is paramount for film sets and sound stages.
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Writing for Television II

  CUAWRT402 - Write extended stories, CUAWRT415 - Write narration and material for productions, CUAAIR411 – Plan and Conduct interviews.
Writing for Television II further develops the student’s fundamentals in screenwriting for television drama. It is a fast-paced, intensive workshop program that allows the student to develop the knowledge and skills required to develop their story outlines and treatments into first draft scripts. This subject also involves the student engaging in the collaborative process of working with others.
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The Freelancer

  CUAIND412 - Provide freelance services
Students will learn how work as a freelancer in the screenwriting industry, including how to promote themselves as a screenwriter and deal with the business aspects of being a freelance screenwriter.
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Writing the Feature II

  CUAIND512 - Enhance professional practice using creative arts industry knowledge
Writing the Feature II builds upon knowledge gained in earlier terms, in which students plotted their feature film script. In this subject the students will further develop their feature film scripts and reappraise parts of it to intensively adjust the script’s narrative, plotting, character arcs, and characterisation to further develop their first draft. As part of this process, the student will also be asked to explore the broader context of the creative arts industry’s networks and professional bodies and to enhance their professional practice and industry knowledge, helping prepare them for the commercial realities of working as a professional screenwriter.
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Script to Screen

  CUAPOS511 - Edit complex media productions, CUAAIR511 - Conduct discussion forums on air
Script to Screen allows the screenwriting student to discuss the production process and experience post-production planning, and what happens to their scripts when they go into post production. The student will explore the skills and knowledge required to prepare for post-production, and digitally edit content to complete a project for viewing and evaluation. Students will engage in the creative process of using editing techniques to build character and story to progress the narrative, bringing their scripts to life and gaining experience of editing and all that that entails.

In gaining an understanding of the planning and editing process, the student will be able to utilise these skills to inform and strengthen their own writing practice.
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Gold Coast Campus: Southport Central Towers, Central 2E, 5 Lawson Street, Southport QLD 4215 | Tel. +61 7 5555 1300

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